Sony have confirmed a number of new hardware items for the PlayStation 2, at their pre-E3 press conference in Los Angeles.

The USB connected EyeToy camera will finally launch before the end of the year, and will film players movements, representing them on screen, and allowing for interaction based on hand movements. EyeToy is expected to retail for $39 (about 30) and will come with 12 mini-games covering genres including music, puzzle, and sports.

A USB headset is also in development for the console, allowing for voice control of both online and offline games via a voice recognition system. Use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will allow gamers to speak with each other during gameplay in a similar way to how the Xbox Communicator headset works.

The headset will work with an initial line-up of games including SOCOM II: U.S Navy SEALs, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, NFL GameDay 2004, NBA ShootOut 2004, and NCAA GameBreaker 2004. Numerous third party titles confirmed to be including functions which will be compatible. The USB Headset is expected to be released at the end of the Summer, priced at $29 (about 23).

Finally Sony confirmed that they will be launching a PlayStation 2 Online Pack, which will have all the items needed to connect a PlayStation 2 up with their online gaming network, in Sony's words "enticing mainstream audiences to embrace online gaming".

The pack will include a PlayStation 2 and the required network adapter, allowing you to connect up to the Sony PlayStation online gaming network - this pack will replace the existing console only hardware, and will retail for the same price ($199/150) as the existing PS2 console, when it goes on sale in the summer.

Related article: E3 2003: Sony take the PlayStation Portable